Foundations Singer Clem Curtis Dies at 76

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Clem Curtis photographed at Flashback 80s Festival on Aug. 19, 2016.

Clem Curtis, the original lead singer for the U.K. '60s hitmakers The Foundations, died yesterday (March 27). The BBC reported Curtis' passing, confirming it with his family, though no cause of death was given. He was 76.

The Trinidad-born Curtis joined The Foundations in 1967, singing on the multi-racial soul group's breakout hit "Baby Now That I've Found You," which topped the singles charts in the U.K. and reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the States. Curtis fronted further Foundations singles in "Back on My Feet Again" (also a Hot 100 hit) and "Any Old Time (You're Lonely and Sad)" in 1968.

Later that year, however, Curtis would leave The Foundations, discouraged by the group's level of effort. Replacing him with new vocalist Colin Young, The Foundations would go on to have their biggest international hit with the pop-soul classic "Build Me Up Buttercup," a No. 3 hit on the Hot 100 in 1969. Curtis went to the U.S. to pursue a solo career, but found limited opportunities, and returned to the U.K. early the next decade.

The singer would rejoin The Foundations in the mid-'70s, though by then, the group had fractured to the point where multiple members were leading their own iterations of the band. Eventually, Curtis and original guitarist Alan Warner teamed back up to re-record early Foundations hits. Curtis continued to perform through this year.